Former Lucile Packard Children's CEO Christopher Dawes dies of Lou Gehrig's disease

Christopher Dawes, former CEO of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., died June 29 at age 68 from Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mr. Dawes stepped down from the role in March 2018, citing health issues. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mr. Dawes spent 18 years at the helm of Lucile Packard Children's and is credited by Stanford Medicine for building the hospital's programs, scale and reputation. A Stanford Medicine obituary remembers Mr. Dawes for leading a $500 million campaign to create centers of excellence around specific specialties, helping build a regional pediatric care network with 60 locations along the West Coast, and overseeing an expansion project that doubled the size of the hospital to 361 beds.

Mr. Dawes previously held senior administration positions at Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center in San Francisco and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif. He was a board member of the California Hospital Association and the California Children’s Hospital Association.

Mr. Dawes was known as a "fabulous manager," according to Susan Packard Orr, board member and daughter of the hospital's founder, Lucile Packard. "A hospital is a really complicated business, and he was able to keep everybody happy and moving forward until we reached the point where we were too successful and didn't have enough room," Ms. Orr told Stanford Medicine.

In a past interview with Becker's, Mr. Dawes discussed how he involved patients, families and staff in the design of the new hospital, which opened in December 2017.  

 

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